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9 May 2018
UWC In Top 150 Emerging Economy Universities 2018

UWC ranks in top 150 best universities in the Times Higher Education  Inaugural Emerging Economies University rankings 2018

The University of the Western Cape is proud to learn that it has been ranked 117th of the top universities in 42 emerging-economy countries, according to the Times Higher Education Emerging Economies University Rankings 2018.

The announcement was made at the fourth annual Times Higher Education Emerging Economies Summit in Morocco on 9 May 2018 -- is a significant achievement for the University with its position. The ranking considers research-led universities from the 50 countries classified by FTSE as emerging countries (advanced and secondary) or “frontier economies”. These include countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Egypt, Nigeria, Mexico, Argentina - and South Africa.

UWC’s Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, is extremely proud of the achievement - accompanying, as it does, the University’s ranknig in the previous global THE rankings as one of the top 800 universities in the world (and joint 5th in South Africa).

“UWC has had a long and difficult history, and with the tough economic environment for higher education in South Africa today, we have to be smart and strategic about realising our goals,” he says. While we don’t chase rankings, it’s very pleasing to receive external affirmation that the investment in our academic project is paying off.”

The Emerging Economies Universities are clustered in three categories: Advanced Emerging Economies (including SA), Secondary Emerging Economies, and Frontier Economies. As a previously disadvantaged institution, UWC has made significant strides in a very short period of time, and is one of the top 8 South African universities ranked in the Advanced Emerging Economies.

The final list of 378 universities was drawn from only 42 countries because of the rigorous criteria applied to the rankings.

As Times Higher Education explains, the rankings are composed using the same 13 rigorous performance indicators as the THE World University Rankings, examining each university’s strengths against its core missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. But with the Emerging Economy Rankings, the methodology has been carefully recalibrated to better reflect the characteristics and development priorities of universities in emerging economies - giving more weight, for example, to a university’s industry links and international outlook.

“The higher education sector is a challenging environment -- not only in South Africa, but globally,” Prof Pretorius notes. “We have to produce research and prepare people who can adapt to, engage with and think deeply about the opportunities and risks available in a rapidly-changing world. This announcement is further affirmation that we are on the right track in terms of our growth and progress.”

Not sure what makes UWC so great? Here are a few things you might not know:

  • The UWC CREATES programme is the only creative writing programme in South Africa operating across three languages - English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa - where learners work with their natural gifts and develop their own storytelling voices.
  • UWC held one South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) Chair in 2008 - and currently holds 14 of them, providing leadership in research and capacity-building in areas from Astrophysics to Health Systems Governance to Visual History, and more besides.
  • The South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI) at UWC is Africa’s leading centre for bioinformatics, providing valuable genetic insights into and diseases like TB and HIV, and producing breakthroughs in genomic technologies and approaches. 
  • TheCentre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation consolidates and coordinates entrepreneurship and activities and education at UWC, helping students learn to take their big ideas and turn them into business successes.
  • The University’s Faculty of Dentistry produces approximately 50% of South Africa’s dentists, and scholars across two facilities assist over 100 000 patients a year. It’s also a World Health Organisation collaborating centre for capacity development, teaching and research
  • The University’s  Energy Storage Innovation Lab boasts high-tech battery integration and production facilities, and has been involved in the development of a number of advanced storage systems.
  • UWC’s Research Repository holds over 2 000 research papers, accessible to anybody in the world - just one of the ways the University is promoting open access to human knowledge in everything from astrophysics to politics to zoology.

Looking for more interesting UWC facts? Check them out here, by the numbers. And why not find out about five fascinating UWC firsts, while you’re at it?